Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Sustainable Development, interscience.wiley.com, Volume Online, Issue Nov 5 2008, p.n/a–n/a (2008)
Keywords:Gandhi, Gandhian critique of modern technology, social shaping of technology, STS, sustainable development, technological determinism, technology politics
Based on an in-depth examination of the original writings of Mohandas Gandhi, spanning over 98 volumes, and the compendium of works by his associates J. C. Kumarappa and Vinoba Bhave, this article explores the technoscientific notions of the Gandhian school of thought to broaden the technology–sustainability discussions. Premised on the idea of nature, the varying nature–human definitions were crucial for Gandhians in pursuing their political activities. Positing nature methodologically as an unproblematic abstract category, Gandhians formulated, redefi ned and appropriated technoscientifi c spaces; thereby facili- tating their technological choices and artefacts to embody the values of sustainability, decentralized autonomy and labour-intensiveness. They engaged science and technology as a contextually contingent social process and integrated it into a mass political movement by identifying technoscience as a site of political action. This article adds to the STS discussions on democratization of technology, and the socially embedded nature of scientific ingenuity and multivalency of technological choices.